One of the more interesting developments on campus this year is the growth and change at The Mind Research Network.
Technically MRN is an independent non-profit entity, located in Pete and Nancy Domenici Hall on the UNM north campus. However, work at MRN is closely entwined with the university community; it hosts professors, many of whom hold dual appointments in UNM departments such as electrical and computer engineering, and is a laboratory in which 20 graduate students work with researchers. There are also more than 100 undergraduate students currently volunteer at MRN; these students work with a principal investigator throughout the academic year.
Last spring MRN hosted the “Domenici Neuroscience Symposium on Neuroscience for National Security” in Washington. The purpose was to raise the profile of MRN in Washington D.C. and to let the public know that MRN is now doing research in neurosystems engineering in addition to its research into brain disorders. MRN drew a number of speakers from industry and research entities and showcased MRN researchers in a variety of areas.
UNM worked with MRN to produce audio recordings of the conference. Here’s a great chance to hear about everything from the latest research in Traumatic Brain Injury to new training techniques that may allow soldiers to quickly identify threats. Just putting together the audio lectures was a fascinating experience. It made me want to learn more about work at MRN.
Neuroscience for National Security
Normally this kind of research is done by individuals at various institutions. MRN is trying to concentrate a group of researchers working in neurosystems engineering.
Financially, things are going well at MRN. The non-profit corporation has over $75 million in active awards, about $10 million in pending grants, and several active applications for grants in progress. Research collaboration with organizations like MRN is what makes UNM a more interesting place to be and lots of fun to write about.
Patrick Bridges, associate professor in the UNM Computer Sciences Department has completed an interesting experiment in collaboration with Peter Dinda, professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University and his graduate student Jack Lange. Their experiment was conducted on the Sandia National Labs supercomputer “Red Storm” and they are finding a way to make it easier for researchers to work with supercomputers.
Here’s a link to the UNM story.
Anthropology Professor and Director of the Maxwell Museum, Dr. James Dixon, is conducting exciting research exploring glaciers in Alaska to discover ancient frozen artifacts. Some of his research was filmed last summer in Alaska and at the Maxwell for a segment of National Geographic Television’s “Naked Science: Surviving Ancient Alaska”. The show will premier on national television on January 28, 2010, at 10 PM eastern standard time. For an advanced video preview and photos go to:
If you are doing research in the area of New Mexico History, here’s a great chance for financial assistance. The Office of the State Historian has fellowship grants for students doing research in any field or discipline that will foster and understanding and appreciation of New Mexico history, and who has academic or work qualifications. For details…
Associate Professor Bill Fleming, School of Architecture and Planning; and his wife, Jeanie Puleston Fleming, published the attached article in Waterlines Journal, a publication dedicated to scaling up rural water supply.
The Flemings’ article is about land use and land degradation between the 1970s and 2006 in Nepal.
A watershed conservation success story in Nepal: Land use changes over 30 years
The New York Times reports that the University of California is raising student fees by 34% and cutting $813 million from the budget, about the equivalent of the entire Higher Education Budget in New Mexico.
In this National Geogrpahic article UNM Associate Professor of Biology Diana Northup brings a new perspective to minerals found in lava tubes.
Anthropology professor Lawrence Guy Straus is quoted in a current article in Science Magazine (Nov. 20, 2009). He attended a recent meeting in Tarragona and Capelledes, Spain. Read a great story about current professional thinking on Neandertal living.